Nine-Fairfax merge maintained
The merger of Fairfax and Nine appears likely to go ahead, despite a recent share price slump.
There has been some suggestion that the shareholders would vote against the deal because of a diminished price premium.
However, Nine chief executive Hugh Marks says the merger will go ahead, and denied claims that it would reduce media diversity.
The proposed deal would see Nine become the dominant partner, holding 51.1 per cent of the merged company's shares.
A research note issued by Citi on October 12 said; “At this point, the benefit to Fairfax shareholders of voting in favour of the merger is less obvious and we are no longer confident that this will proceed under the current agreed terms”.
But Mr Marks believes the deal will go ahead.
“The deal at the end of the day made sense because [of] what both of the businesses can do together to grow long-term value,” he said this week.
Mr Marks also rejected the claims that the quality of journalism and media diversity would suffer.
“I can never guarantee no journalist jobs will be lost but they won't be lost because of the merger,” Mr Marks said
He said the ACCC should be able to accept the merger.
“There's not many areas really where we compete, they are really different audiences,” he said.
“A lot of the commentary has been about things like will there will be a loss of diversity and voice and will we merge newsrooms, and all of that commentary is really unhelpful because that's value-destructing.”